Written by Allie Ingalls
There are loads of articles on this blog with tips, tricks, lists and all sorts of helpful stories about what to do when you feel terrible, when you’re at your lowest. I’ve even written a few about my own experiences feeling dark, alone, and trapped in my anxiety.
But what I forgot to do when I was focused on getting better, is enjoying the days when I felt great. No guilt, no shame, just a full bill of health and feeling on top of everything.
Just like it’s okay not to be okay, it’s also okay to feel like you’re the bee’s knees.
On the days when you’re killing it – ticking things off your to-do list, eating wholesome meals, dressed in clean clothes, checking in with friends/family – give yourself permission to love life.
Mental illness isn’t an everyday thing for some people, just like any other physical illness, and I know I’ve had days when anxiety doesn’t even cross my mind…and that’s great. It doesn’t mean I’m not empathetic, or if I’m not suffering then I’m not able to share in understanding someone who is.
Let’s bust this myth right now: suffering with mental illness isn’t “cool” or “trendy”.
This is a common misunderstanding I hear about WYL and other brands/organizations, due to pretty social media and catchy hashtags among other things.
Your cool factor isn’t dependant on anything other than being a cool human, regardless of illness or how many followers you have or whether you posted a #SelfCareSunday in bed with some kind pose you took twenty shots of to get right, then another hour editing it to post for likes you refresh every fifteen minutes to see if your caption shows you understand the “cause”. If you’re living your best life as your best self right now, if you’ve fought to be the person you are, you’re allowed to sit back into yourself and enjoy it in your own way.
Normalizing mental illness doesn’t mean if you don’t have one you’re out of the loop, it doesn’t mean if your days aren’t tainted with mental illness you are privileged in some kind of despicable way. If you wear a shirt from WYL it doesn’t mean you have to be suffering – it means you are an ally, whether you struggle or have struggled with mental illness or not, whether you’re healthy or not.
Relish in the gift of permission to enjoy yourself, enjoy recovery, enjoy taking pleasure in the delights of life.
What’s the point of fighting through your darkness if you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the light?
If you’re killing it right now, keep on keepin’ on. (insert fist bump here)